Incident Report

Incident Report No. 31


Before we jump into it, I just wanted to point out a couple of blogs you should be following, if you aren’t already: BOLO Books, Kevin’s Corner, The Rap Sheet, and My Little Corner.

The Incident Report as always covers the goings on in the world of small press crime fiction for the week of February 25th through March 3rd. Links to articles and book releases, new and upcoming.

If you haven’t read JJ Hensley’s Arming Teachers: The Perspective of a Former Secret Service Agent at Do Some Damage, you really should. And while you’re there, Danny Gardner’s Now, May We Talk About Quentin? is an absolutely must read if you are a big fan of the writer-director. Gardner also has another article that you should read over at 7 Criminal Minds, Let’s Talk About What Makes Me So Original.


Culprits by Richard Brewer and Gary Phillips – Unlawful Acts
Culprits is not the next great crime novel and I don’t think that was its intention, but it’s far better than that TV show you are binging binge or that comic book movie you want to go see.
Zero Avenue by Dietrich Kalteis – Unlawful Acts
The writing like the characters is unapologetic and doesn’t give a shit whether you get it or not: punk music, punk characters, punk writing. I was loving it immediately.
The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor – Unlawful Acts
C.J. Tudor’s debut novel The Chalk Man follows the familiar devices of popular crime fiction – there’s even an albino – and like many of of Tudor’s contemporaries, the book fails to deliver.
Criminal Minds: Let’s Talk About What Makes Me So Original
Each time I write something, the reader and I are both taking a chance on each other. I sometimes wish I could somehow crystallize the interactions I experience when it comes to this originality question. It really is life-affirming when someone crosses divides both real and imagined to tell me they loved by book despite all the reasons not to buy it. In so many ways, it makes it worth it.
TOUGH: Switchblade III, a review by Rusty Barnes
The stories are out there waiting, and I see the job of small press crime journals like Switchblade, Pulp Modern and Tough to bring them to the forefront and provide an alternative–however the individual journals define that– to the larger venue/larger payday every writer generally shoots for. Our job is to get large in vision, but stay small in practice, to highlight writers before they reach mainstream success, and to bring attention to those mainstream writers who still need the boost. Their success is our success. Every Switchblade issue, every Pulp Modern issue, every story, every time we get our names out there in the small press crime scene, is a success for all of us.
The Rap Sheet: PaperBack: “The Invisibles”
Part of a series honoring the late author and blogger Bill Crider.
SHOTSMAG CONFIDENTIAL: The Party’s Over by Chris Ould
I’ve never had much difficulty in wiping the details of the last book I wrote from my memory and moving on to the next. At editorial meetings I’ve been known to forget the names of central characters and who did what and why, which can make people suspicious that I didn’t actually write the book at all, but maybe hired someone to do the hard work instead. Unfortunately, not so.
REV. ERYK’S EAST TEXAS GUMBO | Crimespree Magazine
Everybody should have their own gumbo recipe.
Mexican cartel hitmen, an incompetent henchman who is persistent if nothing else, a crooked cop, a vindictive lawman who won’t take no for an answer, some missing moolah, a blossoming attraction, plenty of frenetic encounters, a rising body count, tacos to die for and lots more.
Patricia Abbott (pattinase): How I Came to Write This Book: JACK WATERS, by Scott Adlerberg
Jorge Luis Borges, though his fiction consists of short stories only, wrote some great essays about novelists and novel writing, and I remember a phase from one of his pieces where he talks about a specific kind of novel he likes to read, which is a novel of adventure that moves fast, and has gaps.
I really enjoy writing, and I’m stubborn as hell. I’ve been pretty terrible at the business end of things, because I’ve always poured my attention into the work. As for advice, I go with Elmore Leonard: “Try to leave out the parts that people tend to skip.”
SleuthSayers: Stories to Novels: Reading the Complete Continental Op
Beyond those specific stories and those specific novels, the early stories in the new collection have been opening up new perspectives on Hammett’s artistic process—exciting discoveries for me, even if others have likely written on them elsewhere.
Book Marks reviews of The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn
Sigh -DN
Writer Types | Dietrich Kalteis
Dietrich Kalteis turns the tables on Eric Beetner and S.W. Lauden. -DN
Do Some Damage: Arming Teachers: The Perspective of a Former Secret Service Agent
Remember how I gave examples of multiple protectees being present at an event. Well, events like campaign rallies and awards presentations can involve large crowds. So try to imagine you are an agent working an inauguration event and you spot an armed man who is twenty yards away from you. Imagine the man begins firing into the crowd. Imagine addressing a threat by pulling a gun and, through the crowd, taking aim on the attacker. Keep in mind that law enforcement hit rates in a shooting are somewhere between 18 to 30 percent.
Steve Brewer writes the kind of books I like to read. The only problem I have is, I didn’t discover him early enough to be able to read as many of his books as I would like to. With over 30 to his name and the pace at which he produces them, I’m doomed to be forever playing catch up.
A Caribbean Literary Renaissance | by Joshua Jelly-Schapiro | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
The seminar’s theme this year was “Writers of the Caribbean.” It began with a lecture by Jamaica Kincaid, the distinguished novelist from Antigua, and featured others ranging from Haiti’s Edwidge Danticat to Cuba’s Leonardo Padura to Britain’s Caryl Phillips and a slate of younger writers—Kei Miller, Naomi Jackson, Ishion Hutchinson—who have in recent years helped bring about a renaissance in Caribbean letters.
Talking the Story Out of Your Head | The Thrill Begins
I’m going to tell you about how you can write your book without actually ‘writing’ it. I’m going to tell you about how you can do this at least twice as fast as typing it. I’m going to tell you about how dictating the first draft of my most recent book was a game-changer…
The Rap Sheet: PaperBack: “The Big Fix”
Part of a series honoring the late author and blogger Bill Crider.
Pulp Curry | The heist always goes wrong, part 4: 10 more heist films you’ve never seen
To celebrate the re-release of my heist thriller, Gunshine State, by Down and Out books, it is time for another of my top 10 heist posts.This instalment continues where I left of in part 3, with 10 more unknown or under appreciated heist films that you might want to check out.
Do Some Damage: Now, May We Talk About Quentin?
Tarantino’s resentful bigotry and anti-blackness played out for all to see. Doubled and tripled down upon in all his interviews. Its pathologies played out on screen and in print to much acclaim.  Once Uma Thurman finally told the truth about his vile behavior, folks are shocked. Betrayed, even. But why? He kicked your neighbor, right in front of you. Time and again, he tipped his hand to his urge to dehumanize and marginalize others. There wasn’t a black man in Pulp Fiction that wasn’t broken by him. Why would he spare Uma? Sorry, but oh yes it is the very same thing.
Two Obsessive Crime Fighters – Los Angeles Review of Books
Tess Gerritsen and Lisa Gardner talk about why they are successful and you’re not. -DN
Who The Fuck Are We Anyway? – CLASH
What I’m really trying to say after a thousand words or so is, when the fuck are you going to follow me on twitter?
Between the Lines: Walter Mosley | | THE BIG THRILL
If you’re wondering if that means Mosley writes his books without a detailed outline first, the answer would be yes. “There is an unconscious agenda reaching through you to write that book,” he says. “It’s not like a blueprint for a new building, because you have to have that or else the building will fall down. This is about human emotions.”
Trend Alert: Is There a “New” Serial Killer Fascination? | | THE BIG THRILL
Every murderer from Jack the Ripper to Ted Bundy and beyond has been re-imagined in novels, non-fiction, film, television and video games. And while interest tends to go up and down in waves, there’s a reason why a thriller or mystery around a serial killer is as commercial, or more successful, than ever.
The Top Five Heist Novels of All Time – Strand Mag
Recommendations from Richard Brewer and Gary Phillips. -DN
Two Decades In The Making, ‘Green Sun’ Is Worth The Wait : NPR
Anderson is adept at finding a terrible kind of beauty in the worst circumstances, which makes Green Sun difficult to put down even when it’s emotionally painful to keep reading. Above all, it’s a stunning meditation on power, violence and the intractability of pain, which Anderson seems to understand all too well.
Dodging and Burning – The BOLO Books Review | BOLO BOOKS
Dodging and Burning is a masterwork of tone and voice. The central themes are heavy and could easily have weighed down the story – straying into pedantic territory – but because there is the constant sense of discovery and youthfulness, the reader never worries about that. John Copenhaver keeps control of his complex narrative by nailing the voices of these two very different girls.
Book Review : Mickey Spillane & Max Allan Collins – The Will to Kill (2017) — Dead End Follies
I’m still unsure what to tell you about Mike Hammer after reading The Will to Kill. In fact, I’ve learned a great deal more about him through his Wikipedia entry than from this novel.
There’s a Harlem Renaissance Resurgence Happening in 2018
I’m a big believer in needing to know where we’ve been to see where we’re going. To be an artist at all means familiarity with the classics and the contributions of those who came before us.
Will Iain M. Banks’s Bonkers Space Opera Novels Work On Screen? | Literary Hub
I am not looking forward to this. The books are fantastic though. -DN
Beyond Fan Fiction: Rewriting and Distorting The Shining | Literary Hub
Discovering THERE was like encountering something strangely familiar yet unlike anything I’d ever read. I still haven’t quite figured out how this is possible. I think all of the emotion, all of the loneliness and isolation and conflicted feelings of a fraught relationship seem familiar; it’s Lonely’s approach to language and his deconstruction of The Novel that feels much more like uncharted territory. 
Criminal Minds: Being original by Dietrich Kalteis
If I tried to guess what the next best seller looked like, and if I tried to write it, I’m pretty sure it would be a disaster. What I write can be summed up as the kind of story I’d want to read myself. Writing a novel is a long journey, so I need to be just as jazzed about it when I start as when I’m at the end. It’s the only way I could stick with it. 
Kevin’s Corner: Review: Styx & Stone: An Ellie Stone Mystery by James W. Ziskin
Styx & Stone: An Ellie Stone Mystery is the start of a series and a good one. While all the characters are complicated in this tale to some degree (no cookie cutter cardboard cutouts need apply), Ellie Stone is exceedingly complicated. There is depth and nuance to this character that is rarely found in the first novel of a series.
SleuthSayers: Heat Lightning
You might be put in mind of Lehane or Walter Mosley, but I think the presiding godfather of the books is Chester Himes. Mullen is the more supple writer by far – which isn’t to disrespect Himes, but let’s be honest, he’s working the same groove as Jim Thompson, it’s lurid and it’s unapologetically pulp – and Mullen’s characters are round, not flat (E.M. Forster’s usage).
Indie Bookstores Boycott FedEx Over NRA Ties |
This, of course, is just one example of many among booksellers, librarians, and all readers of literary-based activism and discourse within the current political climate.
The Slippery Search for Creativity – Los Angeles Review of Books
The picture that emerges is one of perpetual tension between the familiar and the novel: if something is too familiar, it’s boring; too unfamiliar, and we dismiss it as crazy or even dangerous. The Beatles, one might argue, found the perfect middle ground — familiar enough to want to sing and dance along; dangerous enough to rattle parents.
Ward Parker Interview: “I was the kind of kid who was forever hidden away somewhere with his nose in a book” – The Dorset Book Detective
I’m inspired by my past, my nightmares, my anxieties and the vagaries of human nature. The fragile, unique environment of Florida greatly inspires me, too.
Let’s Talk About It: Small Press Publishing – Sci-Fi & Scary
A lack of attention to detail – something that’s often missing in self-published and indie press titles – also contributes to the negative impression among consumers of indie-published books in general, and the author in particular. This hurts us all.
Author of the Week: Josh Stallings – DIGITAL MEDIA GHOST
After three years of writing and researching that world, I either had to lighten the fuck up or blow my brains out. A bubbly disco heist novel seemed the perfect prescription.
Review: You Were Never Really Here, by Johnathan Ames ~ Out of the Gutter Online
This was a real blast of noir.
Three Truths About Writing, And How The Writing Gets Done « terribleminds: chuck wendig
So, every writer is different, and every story that a writer writes is different from the last, and to make it even more fun, every day is different, too. (I know, what a revelation.) Some mornings you wake up, fresh as a newborn baby bathed in unicorn tears. Some days are total fucking gutter balls — it’s a clunk and thunk and the ball rolls into a ditch without knocking over a single pin.
Patti Abbott – The BOLO Books Interview | BOLO BOOKS
Endings are very important in short stories. What I strive for is an ending that is both inevitable given the situation but also a bit of a surprise. I sometimes know the ending from the beginning but not usually.
Does Reading Make You Smarter? Books And The Brain
Ultimately it is useful to think of reading not in terms of whether or not it improves intelligence but rather in terms of how it changes the way the brain works.
Dear Match Book: Seeking Literary Page-Turners – The New York Times
Books that lead with mysteries offer the sharpest reading hooks.
The First Two Pages: Jack Waters by Scott Adlerberg – Art Taylor
In this opening, I let the reader know the story’s era and where it is
happening. I also made the first sentence sound vaguely fairy tale-like—not “once
upon a time” but almost that—to give an immediate indication that the book’s
style, while not complicated, will be a little bit stylized. We’re not in the world of
today, and the goal is to take the reader into the book’s early-19th-century world as
quickly as possible. At the same time, in a matter of fact way, I want to present the
basics about the character and hint at what makes him tick.
Do Some Damage: Three is a Magic Number
Punk singers can be some of the most flawed narrators around—angry, self destructive and cartoonishly earnest. That helped shape the characters, but I also focused on tempo and tone.
Comedy is such a personal thing, and it can be hit and miss with your audience. Often I’ll be watching a movie or TV show and be chuckling away and my partner, Sandra, will look at me askance and ask me what the hell’s so funny.
Kevin’s Corner: Review: Mystery Weekly Magazine: January 2018
The stories in Mystery Weekly Magazine: January 2018 are all solidly good ones. They are complex tales in a variety of settings that feature characters dealing with threats and worse by others. While my personal favorites were the two locked room mysteries, the entire issue is another fun to read solidly good one.
SleuthSayers: Rejected!
Michael Bracken collects all his rejections. -DN
Author, Poet, Zombie Wrangler Matt Betts visits Kendall Reviews for a chat. – Kendall Reviews
I love ghost stories and true stories of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, UFOs, Yeti and stuff like that.
Book review: Secrets of the Weird – Chad Stroup – Grim Reader Reviews
Secrets of the Weird is a good book. I’ve read some great reviews for it, but it is also a book that didn’t quite work for me. I didn’t dislike it, but I certainly didn’t love it either.
Ten Mathematical Mystery-Suspense Novels – Strand Mag
Nova Jacobs suggest some mathematical mysteries at The Strand Magazine
Frank Bill-The Man, The Myth, The Legend by Dave Wahlman | Crimespree Magazine
Everyone has a part to play in life or they can let it pass them by while others pick up their slack. I’m not about being weak or complaining, I’m about doing. Its not easy some days but if it was, then everybody would have discipline. It’s a mind set. You either want it or you don’t.
Book Review: He Digs a Hole – Shotgun Logic
Danger Slater ramps the weird up to about eighty decibels when Harrison is moved to dig the titular hole, hearing a call that drives him to grind off his own hands and replace them with garden implements.
Micro-Progress Your Novel |
The idea of ‘micro-progress’ is simple: For any task you have to complete, break it down to the smallest possible units of progress and attack them one at a time.
Recommended Read: Squeeze by Chris Rhatigan | Paul D. Brazill
Chris Rhatigan’s Squeeze is just great. Lionel Kaspar is one of the sleaziest and most amoral fictional creations of recent times and easily one of of the most enjoyabl
Don’t Quit the Day Job: Martyn Taylor | elementaryvwatson
Are we authors or writers?  No, we are liars.
The Interrogation Room – An Interview With Andrew Nette | Dirty Books
So many crime writers owe a debt to Ellroy and I am one of them. He blew a giant sized hole in what people thought crime fiction could be.
SONS OF SPADE: Q & A with Tom Fowler
I don’t know which newer writers will be the influencers. Reading some of them, I can tell they were inspired by the masters. If you don’t know and understand what Chandler, Parker, Block, Grafton, etc. did, I think you’ll have a hard time meeting reader expectations. And meeting those expectations is important, regardless of what genre you write in.
The Rap Sheet: PaperBack: “The Widow and the Web”
I love that The Rap Sheet is continuing Bill Crider’s feature. -Dn
New in crime fiction: a wicked noir, a World War II-era thriller | The Seattle Times
“Sunburn,” as any good noir should be, is satisfyingly swift, intricate and hotblooded, with both a big heart and a wicked sting
Richard Helms: Award Winning Mystery Author Chats about Writing – Elena Hartwell
Like all writers, I have life experiences that I can mine for the bases of my stories, but I try not to be overtly autobiographical. I’m not sure my life is exciting enough for fiction.
#TimeForCrime:getting to the darkest heart of writers and bloggers! With Melisa over at BroadbeansBooks @TheBroadbean – chapterinmylife: Scottish Crime Fiction Blogger
I am never without a book and carry one (or two…..)  along with my Kindle in my bag.

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